Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster will retire after the 2019 season, the school announced on Thursday.
Foster, who initially joined Virginia Tech as a member of Frank Beamer's first staff in 1987, is stepping down following 33 years serving as an assistant coach for the Hokies.
"Virginia Tech has been home for 33 years and I'm grateful to continue doing what I love for one more season," Foster said. "I'll always be indebted to Coach Beamer for bringing me to Blacksburg back in 1987. Coach Fuente has been phenomenal to work with and I can't thank him enough for the way he has embraced our defensive philosophy and the many traditions of Virginia Tech football. It's been a great ride and it's not over yet. I've been blessed to work with so many outstanding individuals and have enjoyed the privilege of coaching some of the best players to ever wear a Hokies' uniform."
Under Foster's tenure as defensive coordinator, the Hokies lead all FBS programs in sacks (856.0), sack yardage (-5,839), interceptions (380) and third-down percentage (31.5) dating back to 1996. Over that same span, only Alabama (16.3 ppg) and Ohio State (17.0 ppg) have been better in scoring defense than Virginia Tech (18.1).
Since the 1996 NFL draft, 45 of Foster's players have been drafted, with 11 going in either the first or second round. Cornerbacks Kyle Fuller, DeAngelo Hall and Brandon Flowers and safety Kam Chancellor are among those players.
"Bud has served as an integral piece of the fabric of Virginia Tech football for 33 seasons," director of athletics Whit Babcock said. "All Hokies appreciate Bud's many longstanding contributions to our University and the many individuals he has positively impacted over the years. Coach Fuente and I both recognize and respect that this was Bud's decision to make and no one else's. He's enjoyed an outstanding career, embracing Tech's values and spirit of Ut Prosim. We are looking forward to a memorable 2019 and will always be proud to call Bud Foster one of our own at Virginia Tech."
Foster will work as an ambassador for the program with Babcock and Frank Beamer following his retirement.